really soft tap water what should I do. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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really soft tap water what should I do.

Just curious what you all think I should do with my water hardness. I just moved to Virginia and when i was testing the water I noticed that I have about 1 degree of KH. is this a problem? should I try to add some baking soda to increase it to 4? or is this fine.


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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 04:55 AM
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 05:10 AM
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It depends, what are you going to be having in the tank? For crystal shrimp, thats a good level to have. lol.

20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 05:11 AM
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Look at it this way.... you can now grow the plants we were both having problems with here in Colorado


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 07:00 AM
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I'd say count your blessings. If you need to, it's very easy to add GH booster to bring it up. It's a lot more difficult to bring down hardness.

Just make sure that the water isn't that soft because it's being treated with a water softener.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 07:21 AM
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It may be problematic if you're running pressurized co2 since you pH will likely crash.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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well my pH does get to around 5.2 but i'm not sure if that's a problem or not. Also Kh is different than GH and I already add GH booster to my water. My question is if i should add a kH booster as well.

How do i tell if the water company is using a water softener?


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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 03:59 PM
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My KH is 3 out of the tap and in the past I added baking soda to bring it up a little although I no longer do. One teaspoon of baking soda will raise the KH of 13 gallons of water by 4 degrees.

You could call your water company and ask if they're softening the water.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snausage View Post
It may be problematic if you're running pressurized co2 since you pH will likely crash.
One dKH is enough KH to prevent the pH from being unstable with CO2. The pH won't "crash" with 1 dKH. It might be a little better to have 2 dKH, but I don't think I would bother trying to adjust the KH to that.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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anyone ever have problems with getting a colony of BB to grow in a tank with a pH of 5.2?


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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 07:18 PM
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anyone ever have problems with getting a colony of BB to grow in a tank with a pH of 5.2?
From what I've read lately, you're not going to establish a biofilter with that pH. What's I've read from a couple of sources says that below 6.5 BB activity really drops off and basically stops at a pH of 6.0.

http://www.oscarfish.com/article-hom...manifesto.html
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 07:54 PM
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My ph is steady at 5.8 using CO2 and a ph controller. The water from the tap is around 6.6 naturally.

I don't see any issues with BB in the filter- everyone seems healthy. However, if I push the ph below 5.7 I immediately see snail distress (they all head to the surface, then start dying) and soon after the shrimp start dying off. So, 5.8 is as low as I can go but I'm not exactly sure why.



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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockhoe14er View Post
Just curious what you all think I should do with my water hardness. I just moved to Virginia and when i was testing the water I noticed that I have about 1 degree of KH. is this a problem? should I try to add some baking soda to increase it to 4? or is this fine.

You should be very happy, mine is also very soft here in Maryland with kH at 120 ppm and gH at 50 ppm, soft water is why all these guys are buying RO/DI units to filter their water, you don't need to add a thing to this water.

My pH comes out of the tap at 7.4 and in the tank at 7.2 (I don't know why) and with the C02 drops to 6.6 to 6.8, but after some recent reading I think I'll not push the C02 as much due to the BB, I didn't know the low pH shut it down and if this is true some problems in my tank could be caused by high levels of C02.

We need Plantbrain to chime in here I would like to hear what his experience is in this area!!!

Jeff5614 brought this to my attention in another post and also mentioned aeration at night while the lights are off helping the bio-filter so I bumped up my air pump timer from 5 hours to 15 hours only leaving 1 hour before lights on to build a little C02 and I am really pleased with the difference after only one day, so it's a big enough difference to see immediately.

Here's the article http://www.tfhmagazine.com/details/a...e-aquarium.htm


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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 08:37 PM
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Here's a good link regarding the biofilter. You'll find it mentions the issue with pH and bacterial activity. It's also discussed in this years ADA catalog and on Aquajournal.net.

http://www.oscarfish.com/article-hom...manifesto.html
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 01:47 AM
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If there is a problem with nitrifying bacteria when the pH drops below 6 everyone who has that low a pH will be having ammonia problems or nitrite problems with their fish. How many reports have you seen of that? I don't recall even one, where that was clearly the problem. The bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrates is naturally occurring, and will occur in spite of what you do to your water, assuming the water is good for fish to live in. I skimmed that link in "oscarfish", but I have no reason to believe that the author is an expert (or not an expert, for that matter), so I have to fall back on experience on this.

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